The right dress shoes can go a long way towards making your outfit. But with so many shoe styles out there, what exactly should be on your mind when you're shopping for your next pair? The experts at TallMenShoes.com are here to help you find the best dress shoes for every occasion. Here are some of the most important things to consider when selecting new men's dress shoes.
Generally speaking, you want shoes that are smooth and shiny - but not too smooth and shiny, as this can give them a cheap plastic feel. Leather is the preferred material for dress shoes, as it is supple, lasts a long time and goes with more styles of dress clothes. The only downside is that it requires more care. Suede and canvas can be acceptable in the right circumstances.
There are a number of toe shapes out there, from perfectly squared toes for a modern dress casual look to traditional narrow-pointed wing tips. Obviously, everyone has different tastes. But shoes with moderate toes between these extremes are a good compromise for most people. They will fit with more different outfits so you can wear the shoes more often.
Dress Shoe Color
When it comes to dress shoes, you can't go wrong with black. This bold neutral tone goes with almost any suit, pants or blazer you own. If you can only afford one pair of dress shoes, black is the way to go. Other colors such as brown, tan, navy blue and white are available, but they should be worn situationally based on the rest of your outfit.
Laces or No Laces?
This one of the classic debates for any shoe style: looks or comfort? Fortunately, there's an easy answer. Wear lace-up dress shoes for black-tie and formal occasions, as they have a professional look for work, galas and five-star restaurants. Loafers, buckle straps and other slip-on dress shoes are better for business-casual work days or informal dinner parties. Many common lace-up shoes, such as oxfords and derbies, are available in a slip-on design as well.
Trying on Dress Shoes
When you're shopping for dress shoes, try them on in the afternoon and evening. Everybody's feet swell a little bit throughout the day from normal walking and standing. Therefore, if a shoe fits perfectly first thing in the morning, they'll feel tighter and tighter as the day goes on. Men also should wear the same style of socks to the shoe store that they'll be wearing with the shoes on a regular basis. And if you're buying leather shoes, they should fit right there in the store. Leather shoes barely stretch during use, so unlike casual shoes, you don't need to worry about them loosening up as you break them in.
Buying Dress Shoes Online
While you can often find better prices online for dress shoes, the downside is that you can't try them on first. Therefore, if there's a new style you're looking at that you haven't worn before, you should strongly consider ordering two pairs of different sizes. As long as one fits and is comfortable, you can keep that pair and send the other back. (Just make sure the store has a good return and exchange policy.) You'll then know exactly what to order the next time you need new shoes.